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CNET First Look
Apple Watch gets FDA-cleared heart rate sensor: Hands-on with Kardia BandA $200 accessory offers spot EKG readings to notice possible atrial fibrillation.
Smart watches like the Apple watch have heart rate sensors, but not medically approved ones. Kardia Band by [UNKNOWN] is the first FDA approved heart-rate EKG device for Apple Watch. And it signals where more medically accurate wearable's might go next. The $200 cardiogram has a battery powered sensor and it's This band that connects via Bluetooth and completes an electric circuit for 30 second EKG readings. Just apply your thumb or your finger. Kardia's mobile app uses the Apple watch heart rate sensor in addition to take continuous readings throughout the day and note moments where it might be good to take a spot reading. Kardia Band promises to sense possible atrial fibrillation and heart arrhythmia. You can record your feelings during a reading via a voice memo that gets tagged. The results can be saved or shared with a doctor. AliveCor, makers of Kardia band, also have the service to have doctors analyze your results on the fly. Fly for an additional fee. A feature called SmartRhythm uses AI throughout the day to spot where your heart rate and activity range should be, and spots moments where an additional EKG reading might be a good idea. Taking a reading means being seated and still. And it takes 30 seconds. Of course, with all of this you should also be seeing a [UNKNOWN]. Apple Fitbit and Samsung are working on having their own onboard heart-rate measurements, eventually be good enough to sense atrial fibrillation as well, but for now, these types of FDA approved accessories might bridge the gap. We haven't tested Cardioband for more than a day, and we haven't compared it to other EKGs, but Cardioband aims to enhance all day heart rate measurements with more accurate spot measuring as needed. Fitness trackers may not all be medical devices now, but that may change soon enough.